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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Heelside Turns on Steeps

So I'm at the point where I'd say I'm a solid intermediate rider (freeride not freestyle). I took a few laps with an instructor back in early December and it really helped a lot with understanding the use of the front foot in turn initiation. Previously I had been using my back foot a bit too much for turns. I'm at a point where I can cruise pretty fast on groomers of moderate steepness and am even laying down some actual carves (not the super deep ones with hand drags or anything) when I try.

So what's weird is that on a blue and I try to actually carve and pick up speed, heelside feels natural and smooth. Toeside turns had been an issue early this year but after implementing the instructor's advice these have actually become smooth too. In reality, I am now finding toeside turns and carves to come more naturally on steeper terrain than heelside.

Which brings me to the problem. When I ride a black diamond, I am pretty comfortable making my turns except when I hit an icy patch or the steepest spot (oftentimes both things at the same time) going into a heelside turn. What happens is I'm not absorbing the speed and my boards chatters violently and will sometimes put me directly on my ass.

I've tried bending my knees more but that doesn't seem to help. I'm wondering if it has something to do with proper fore and aft movements going into, riding through and coming out of the heelside turn. Obviously I'm going to seek the advice of an instructor if I can't solve this on my own, but I was just wondering what advice any of you more experienced guys/gals can provide.

Thanks for any feedback.

TLDR: Heelside board chatter on steeps, how to shift bodyweight properly to avoid it. Toeside is not a problem, nice and smooth.

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 08:06 AM
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Look in the direction you're going on heel side. You're looking down hill. You wash out every time.

I'm assuming your knees are staying nice and flexible.

I had the same problem.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ksup3erb View Post
Look in the direction you're going on heel side. You're looking down hill. You wash out every time.

I'm assuming your knees are staying nice and flexible.

I had the same problem.
I usually do keep my eyes ahead of me (in the direction of travel) but when the board starts chattering I think I do instinctively look in the downhill direction. I will definitely try to be more conscientious of this but I'm still pretty sure I'm doing something else wrong too.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 08:30 AM
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I think we open up when this happens. So a matter of staying parallel over the board and in line with the direction of movement. Not just eyes.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 08:41 AM
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I find a lot of times when I'm getting chatter its because my weight is back. This also happens to be most frequent when I am going into a heelside turn down a steeper section. My body just wants to hang back while I'm making the turn. I'm about the same level as you so wouldn't be surprised if that has a little to do with it too!
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 08:42 AM
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I have had exactly the same problem, and probably for the same reason. In my case I've discovered two issues. First, while my toeside turns are nice wide even turns, my heelsides are much sharper -- basically more of a braking maneuver. When I've forced myself to open up the heelside turn, I get that "fear of speed" feeling, so there's obviously some mental issues there.

The second problem is that I've not been shifting my weight back over the course of the turn. With my weight always forward, of course the back end can break free.

If you can do some turns on some relatively untouched snow and then look back at your tracks, you'll be able to see if you're having the same problem.


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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 08:49 AM
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Had the same problem yesterday. Hit the same spot heel side that was icey and had a small hill where I would catch few inches of air as I cut back heel side. Resulted in chatter, a puff of snow and me on my arse.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trapper View Post
So I'm at the point where I'd say I'm a solid intermediate rider (freeride not freestyle). I took a few laps with an instructor back in early December and it really helped a lot with understanding the use of the front foot in turn initiation. Previously I had been using my back foot a bit too much for turns. I'm at a point where I can cruise pretty fast on groomers of moderate steepness and am even laying down some actual carves (not the super deep ones with hand drags or anything) when I try.

So what's weird is that on a blue and I try to actually carve and pick up speed, heelside feels natural and smooth. Toeside turns had been an issue early this year but after implementing the instructor's advice these have actually become smooth too. In reality, I am now finding toeside turns and carves to come more naturally on steeper terrain than heelside.

Which brings me to the problem. When I ride a black diamond, I am pretty comfortable making my turns except when I hit an icy patch or the steepest spot (oftentimes both things at the same time) going into a heelside turn. What happens is I'm not absorbing the speed and my boards chatters violently and will sometimes put me directly on my ass.

I've tried bending my knees more but that doesn't seem to help. I'm wondering if it has something to do with proper fore and aft movements going into, riding through and coming out of the heelside turn. Obviously I'm going to seek the advice of an instructor if I can't solve this on my own, but I was just wondering what advice any of you more experienced guys/gals can provide.

Thanks for any feedback.

TLDR: Heelside board chatter on steeps, how to shift bodyweight properly to avoid it. Toeside is not a problem, nice and smooth.
I'd be curious to learn what you were trying to fix toe side and what the instructor had you do.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 08:58 AM
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Lol..... I do the same as well and I think its very similar to donutz. I am stronger in my heel side generally but when its steep I use them as heavy speed checks, chatter and end up sitting on the hill. I bet if I went through my go pro footage from just one day I probably did it like 10 - 13 times.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donutz View Post
my heelsides are much sharper -- basically more of a braking maneuver. When I've forced myself to open up the heelside turn, I get that "fear of speed" feeling, so there's obviously some mental issues there.
I don't think I have the fear of speed feeling, especially on heelside. In fact when I pick up speed on a heelside carve on a blue I love that feeling. When I try to recreate this movement on a black it doesn't work this way. But now that I think of it, I do wonder if I'm accidentally braking somewhat.

This actually makes me think through the physics of this a bit. If I'm not moving fast enough in my direction of travel, then the gravity will pull the board down the fall line more and cause that back end to skid right? Maybe the reason I don't have this problem on milder grades is because that gravitational effect obviously isn't as strong on the back end of the board. That would lead me to believe that I need to weight forward more going into and throughout that first part of the turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donutz View Post
The second problem is that I've not been shifting my weight back over the course of the turn. With my weight always forward, of course the back end can break free.
But then there is this. If I'm leaning too far into the turn then my edge hold breaks free and the board can wash out on me. I had an inclination that this might be the problem because I'm pretty sure I'm staying leaned toward the tip of the board with knees bend when I'm making these turns.

Of course this runs contrary to what Elit3PwnZ0r said above but it's possible that his and my problems aren't exactly the same.

This is difficult to do through words but I figured I'd give it a shot before paying for an instructor. I think I'm going to try more of a deliberate aft movement in the beginning of the turn while also trying to keep in mind my body's alignment to the board and where I'm looking as well (not downhill).

2015/16 Snow Days
  • Bittersweet: 2
  • Caberfae: 7
  • Crystal: 6
  • Boyne Mtn: 1
  • Boyne Highlands: 1
  • Nub's Nob: 1
  • Keystone: 1
  • Winter Park: 2

Last edited by trapper; 02-04-2014 at 09:03 AM.
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